COCONUTS: Coconut-Infused Products
There has been an explosion of coconut products available on the market for taste and health reasons. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconuts in one form or another provide a wide range of health benefits.
Coconut sugar is naturally low on the Glycemic Index and is beneficial to weight control as well as improving glucose and lipid levels in people living with Type 1 and 2 diabetes. It easily replaces refined or white sugar in recipes and can be used as an everyday sweetener.
Coconut oil is beneficial for maintaining good cholesterol levels, weight loss, immune support, bone strength and so much more. It's available in pill form for a daily dose of the healthy fats your body requires to thrive, and can be purchased in oil form for cooking in lieu of butter and other oils. The oil can also be applied topically for hair and skin care needs.
Then there's coconut water, a top seller at Sprouts. Low in calories and sugars and 99 percent fat-free, coconut water is considered by many to be nature's energy drink. It's full of electrolytes, calcium, potassium, magnesium and in certain ways is nearly identical to human blood plasma (during World War II, many wounded soldiers were saved in the Pacific because of emergency transfusions using coconut water as plasma). Contrary to popular belief, coconut water is not the same as coconut milk (although Sprouts has that, too); it's actually the thin, opaque, almost clear, liquid found inside young coconuts. As coconuts mature, the water is absorbed by the flesh and replaced by air.
Sprouts carries several brands of coconut water including our very own, as well as C20, Amy & Brian, O.N.E., ZICO and Vita Coco, most of which come in delicious fruit flavors such as pineapple and mango.
The flavor of coconut water, as with most natural coconut products like oil, sugar and milk, is very mild, with very subtle hints of the coconut itself.
Go ahead and give these products a try; you've only got your health to gain. And while you're at it, check out coconut ice cream, coconut yogurt, and even coconut flour for baking (p.s. – it's gluten-free).
From the November 2010 edition of Sprouts Farmers Market's monthly e-newsletter. Hungry for more news? Click here to sign up.